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We're starting out in
Your basic goal is simple for now. You need to find your friend Ardo. Unfortunately, there is a special checkpoint standing in your way. You will need to have two attestors to provide recommendations before you'll be allowed to continue on your trip. The actual process is fairly linear, but a bit lengthy.
You can pursue either attestor first, but I personally suggest that you start with Salina so that you can gain Dranor early.
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Gaining Queen Salina's Recommendation
Walk a little bit past the entrance to the central fairground. Salina should talk to you immediately and tell you about her lost heirloom. She'll offer a recommendation if you find her lost Diadem. This quest is officially called "The Diadem and The Lover".
Find Runkel Bagthumper
This one isn't too hard. He's laying low by a rock near the fairgrounds. He'll refer you to Thalion the Innkeeper.
Just go to the inn and talk to him. Thalion points you to Bald Mountain.
Find the Bald Mountain Robber's Base
Another easy location. Your goal is to just cut a basic path through until you get to the top of the mountain. If you already have Rhulana, then this should be easy. Just keep moving forward. Take time to heal after each battle and then advance until you get to the top of the mountain. Do make sure you kill Botho and Lund to get access to the loot that they were carrying. Other than that, just get to the top.
The strange man mentioned by Runkel should talk and make a quick exit. Dranor tries to fight off the three remaining robbers. Rush in and give him some help. The three of you should be able to make short work of them. Just remember to use your combat talents and focus on taking them out one at a time. Rhulana's "Might Blowy" should be useful here, since a successful hit will do a lot to turn the battle in your favor.
Dranor should join you after this. Remember to pick up the robber emblems for later. Just go back and report the mixed success to Queen Salina. She'll give you the recommendation and a bit of dirt to ensure that it gets accepted.
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Gaining Archmage Rakorium's Recommendation
This one goes right along with a side quest. The Archmage is lost inside the same Old Mineshaft where a ferocious bear is located. Hunter Owlstone wants the bear to be killed, so you might as well use Rakorium's short term help to wrap up the quest while you are there.
Getting the Quest
While walking through town, Rakorium's two novices should run up to you and mention that he's wandered off somewhere and that they need your help.
Finding Archmage Rakorium
Just go to the marked cave for either quest. It's up in the northwestern corner of the forest. Go there and be ready to kill the wolves and boars that are on your path. Your party shouldn't have too much trouble as long as you take it slow. Remember to save just in case they manage to land a very damaging hit.
Go into the cave and head down the path on the left side. This will take you deep into the cave and past a number of strange stone statues and carvings. These are the work of Rakorium as part of fighting the reptillians he fears.
You should just stumble across him soon. Once you find him, the confused mage will agree to follow you as a guest.
I suggest you go over and kill the bear with Rakorium's help. Once that is done, just go outside. Rakorium will teleport back to his novices. Go back to the bridge to find them and complete the quest. He'll sign the recommendation and leave.
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The Road to Ferdok
With the two recommendations in hand, talk to Nandor at the end of the road. He'll agree to let you pass. You can also turn in any robber emblems that you picked up along the way for a 2 Thaler bounty.
Remember to complete all of the side quests first though, since Avestrue locks after you leave.